Anatomy of a killer IT internship program

With demand for tech talent on the rise, a robust IT internship program is key to ensuring the organization builds a reliable talent pipeline for the future, say IT leaders.

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Chad TerMaat, senior director of IT at Lincoln, Nebraska-based engineering firm Olsson, counts three factors enabling the success of their IT internship program.

First off, he says, you put them to work.

“Our interns do actual IT work, and their capabilities drive the type of work we give them,” he explains. “That could be software installs, IT administration, or programming. We let them take on what they can handle, even owning some small projects if that makes sense.”

TerMaat says the second crucial element is to treat interns as part of the team.

“They’re involved in team meetings, their suggestions and input are valued, and they experience our IT culture, which means you have ownership of your job—that’s something we value in our IT team,” he says.  

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